Investors invited to manufacture drugs locally
Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena invites local investors to start
drug manufacturing factories in Sri Lanka. The government has already
taken steps to facilitate local drug manufacturers in every possible
way, a Health Ministry spokesman said. According to the spokesman, the
Cabinet Ministers’ Sub Committee appointed to look into the issue of
drugs had recommended that drugs required for Sri Lanka should be
locally produced to avoid drug shortages.
An industrial city has already been set up at Kurunegala to produce
Western drugs locally to meet the country’s drug requirement. A total of
1,450 varieties of Western drugs are required to meet local demand and
only 93 varieties of them are locally produced.
The rest are imported by the government and private sector at a cost
of Rs. 28 billion. Annually the government spends Rs. 21 billion and the
private sector spends Rs. seven billion to import drugs, he said. But
drug shortages are reported from various state medical institutions time
to time due to shortcomings caused by private companies which obtain
tenders to supply drugs. Those companies hardly supply drugs on time in
required quantities. This leads to drug shortages in state hospitals.
Local drug production also promotes local investors, he added.